The Squid's Ear Magazine

Gato, Joao / Bruno Parrinha: Two (Phonogram Unit)

Two Portuguese saxophonists of different generations both playing on alto sax--Bruno Parrinha, an established and extraordinary player involved with many projects on Clean Feed and Creative Sources, and João Gato, leader of Apophenia Quartet--present 11 improvisations recorded in the studio, their voices intertwining amid masterful technique and creative impulse.

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Bruno Parrinha-alto saxophone (on the right channel)

Joao Gato-alto saxophone (on the left channel)

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Label: Phonogram Unit
Catalog ID: PU22CD
Squidco Product Code: 34571

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Bartolinsky studio, in Oeiras, Portugal, in April, 2023, by Bruno Parrinha.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Two is the first and smallest even prime number, signifying divisibility by both one and itself. It is a fundamental concept in mathematics. It's associated with duality, symmetry and balance, providing an advantage in problem solving, as it allows comparison, choice and contrast. With two alternatives, decisions can be made, dilemmas can be solved and paths can be chosen."-Phonogram Unit

"As we said here recently, after decades of work behind the scenes, saxophonist and clarinetist Bruno Parrinha (b. 1963) is beginning to receive the attention he deserves. He established himself last year with the release of two important albums under his own name: the bold solo recording "Da Erosão" (4daRecord) and the debut of his trio Vine Leaf, with Luís Lopes and João Valinho, on the album "Tales of Senses " (Clean Feed edition). A very active figure in the Lisbon improvised scene, Parrinha has always been involved in multiple projects, although this activity is not reflected in a vast record production under his own name. The situation is now starting to change and, after these two important albums released in 2023, he released "Into the Wood" in January this year, in a trio with Ernesto Rodrigues and João Madeira (with Creative Sources label). And one of the most curious projects he is part of is the Nude quartet, by Luísa Gonçalves (piano), with Joana Sá and Yedo Gibson (saxophones).

Now comes another recording to pay attention to. Officially released on 02/02, "Two" was edited by Phonogram Unit and, this time, we find Parrinha in a duo with a much younger musician. João Gato (b. 2000) is one of the most interesting young musicians on the national scene, leader of the Apophenia quartet - with Bernardo Tinoco, Zé Almeida and Samuel Dias - who published the excellent "Prötzeler" (one of the nominees for the Play 2023 Awards). Exploring different sound environments, the young saxophonist has started collaborations with musicians such as João Valinho, Yedo Gibson or João Carreiro and has collaborated with projects such as SE Pony or the quintet of singer Filipa Franco - who has just released her debut record, "Imagem " (Roda Music).

A saxophonist and clarinetist, Parrinha has used different reed instruments over the years, but in these more recent works he has dedicated himself mainly to the alto saxophone (with the exception of "Into the Wood", where he plays the bass clarinet). On this album, Parrinha uses the alto sax exclusively, which is also João Gato's instrument. The fact that there are two saxophones, particularly from the same register, could raise questions, challenges and problems (on top of those that the practice of improvisation already usually raises): How to avoid the sound from being redundant? How to prevent them from running over each other? Can you reveal different voices? On the left channel you can hear João Gato's alto saxophone; on the right channel you can hear Bruno Parrinha. The duo works on an improvised dialogue, in which the instruments intertwine, dialoguing, exchanging ideas, in a very curious and challenging process. The music is purely improvised and is based on a process of communication, action and reaction, in constant articulation. Each of the elements introduces ideas, provoking, heading in different directions. It is not always a perfect meeting, there is also shock and disagreement, but the musicians work on active listening and often look for points of meeting and communion. This album reveals a beautiful improvised and exploratory dialogue, which results in creative music, recommended for anyone who appreciates the magic of creating music in real time."-Nuno Catarino, JAZZ.PT

Artist Biographies

"Bruno Parrinha - alto sax / soprano, Clarinet Sb / Alto, flute

Around the age of 10 began playing the clarinet. At 17 he bought a flute and entered the Academy of Music where he Amateurs solfeggio and instrument with Paulo Curado for two years . Later he was always playing clarinet and tenor saxophone ( self-taught ) and at age 21 he was invited to join the band Pop Radar Gaddafi with whom he recorded . Later he was cast of musicians on the play " Vieux Carré " in teatro da Graça playing tenor sax . Spent a year on the scene . At 87 he began to attend formations of Sei Miguel resulting in vinyl LP recorded at 88 " Songs love and against terrorism ." Since then he has dedicated his commitment to free improvisation and has participated in numerous trainings and concerts with illustrious musicians including Rodrigo Amado , Rodrigo Pinheiro , Miguel Mira , João Lucas , Paulo Curado , Ernesto Rodrigues , Guilherme Rodrigues , Ulrich Mitzlaff , Manuel Guimarães Cyril Bondi , " D' Incise ," Raphael Ortiz , Nicolaus Gerwinsky , Phill Niblock , Raymond McDonald , Victor Nubla , Nuno Rebelo , Marco Franco, Gabriel Ferrandini , Hernani Faustino , Luís Lopes , José Oliveira , Carlos Santos , Carlos " Zingaro " João Pedro Viegas , Victor Rua , Abdul " moimême " , Luís Vicente , João Lancaster , Luis Gil , Paulo Pimentel , Francisco Andrade , Albert Cicera and many others.

Presently a part of groups : ARGUE, IKB , VGO , Miguel Mira Quartet , Open Mind and Puma. "

-Bruno Parrinha MySpace Page (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in 2000, João Gato started taking Jazz saxophone seriously whilst studying with the altoist Ricardo Toscano, at the Hotclub of Portugal. At age 18, he finished the practical course, after taking 3 years of classes with Toscano and being selected to represent the school at the annual National Jazz combos competition.

In 2018, he started his Bachelor Degree in Jazz saxophone in at ESML, where he studied with prestigious portuguese musicians such as Gonçalo Marques, Desidério Lázaro, Pedro Moreira, Afonso Pais and Nelson Cascais. He finished his degree in 2021, with the grade of 18/20 in the final recital.

In late 2021 he founded his own project, Apophenia, a quartet that reunites some of the brightest young musicians in Lisbon with the objective of finding a common ground between free improvisation and the Jazz compositions without an harmonic instrument, with an aesthetic influenced by musicians such as Eric Dolphy, Peter Evans and Ornette Coleman. The compositional work is all done by Gato.

In early 2022, Apophenia went to Berlin to play 2 shows (one fully available on youtube at ) and recorded their debut album shortly after returning to Lisbon.

Apophenia's debut album came out on the 21st of July of 2022, on the portuguese label Robalo, and was released at their festival and broadcasted by Antena 2.

Besides fronting Apophenia, João is also part of young singer Filipa Franco's quintet, Sonic Voyaging (a project that combines improvised music and dance), Coletivo Teto (a research colective into improvisation techniques), Zé Almeida's quintet, BBTTT and Orquestra de Jazz de Setubal.

He has played with musicians such as Peter Evans (Jardins de Verão Gulbenkian 2020), Nelson Cascais, Nazaré da Silva, João Pereira, João Almeida and João Valinho. He is part of the recently released EP "Forget about Mars" by Débora King.

During the last 5 years, he has taken lesson with musicians such as Jacob Sacks, Perico Sambeat, Chris Pitsiokos, Gonçalo Marques and André Fernandes. He has mantained sporadic lessons with Peter Evans and has been studying with Yedo Gibson for over a year."

-All About Jazz (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Backwards Overture 9:05

2. Toe Stepping 2:27

3. Plain Dust 6:04

4. Ghoul Waltz 1:53

5. Welcome To NY 6:28

6. Plan Of Knowing 4:49

7. The Cycle Was A Lie 2:34

8. Agua Turva 5:00

9. Non-placid Tuning 2:36

10. The Cave Dwellers 10:06

11. Touch'n Flee 4:59

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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Phonogram Unit.

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